Ina Garten Just Made an Iconic Julia Child Recipe Way Easier
In 1963, when Julia Child made her public television debut on The French Chef, there was one recipe that she wanted to teach the American public to make: boeuf bourguignon. On the very first episode of Child's long-running cooking show, Child made the iconic beef stew with red wine. While Child didn't originate the recipe, her version has become the de facto version for many American cooks—or at least those with enough time to try it.
Child's recipe cooks slowly for more than three hours, not including active prep time. But there's good news for those without the free time for this cooking project: Ina Garten just shared her version of Child's recipe, and her dish slashes the cook time nearly in half. Once Garten's Beef Bourguignon gets going, the recipe needs just an hour and 15 minutes in the oven before you can finish the sauce and dig into dinner.
Like Child's recipe, Garten starts with some bacon for lots of flavor, then sears cubes of beef chuck with salt and pepper. She then adds in her veggies, including yellow onions, garlic and carrots, plus a dash of cognac. Once the alcohol in the cognac has burned off, Garten adds enough red wine and beef broth to cover the beef and allows the dish to cook in a lidded Dutch oven (like this one from Le Creuset, $345 at lecreuset.com) for over an hour at 250°F.
Once the beef and veggies are fork-tender, Garten puts the Dutch oven back on the stovetop and adds butter, flour and sautéed mushrooms to the pot for a rich and flavorful sauce. She brings the pot up to a boil, then simmers the sauce for 15 minutes. The result is a tender, flavorful stew that Garten suggests serving with slices of garlic bread.
Commenters were quick to chime in with their favorite pairings with this recipe, like a fresh baguette and a glass of cabernet. Others said they love Julia Child's recipe but had to admit that Garten's is just as delicious and much easier to make. In response, Garten herself wrote back to explain why she developed her own version of beef bourguignon. "I actually think that the beef was tougher when Julia was writing her books, and I realized the dish was better if it cooked for much less time," Garten wrote.
In her caption, Garten explained that she decided to make the stew for dinner that night because she was heading to see Julia, a new documentary about Julia Child's life, from the directors of the film RBG. Garten herself appears in the documentary alongside lots of other culinary luminaries, including Jacques Pépin and José Andrés.
If beef stew still seems a little out of reach for dinner tonight, don't worry—we have some other comforting dinner recipes that are sure to satisfy any cozy cravings.